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For Khaled Mouzannar, happiness is in the mountains, music and wine

“It’s time to get drunk so as not to be the martyred slave of time, get drunk constantly. Wine of poetry or virtue as you wish. These are the two lines of Baudelaire’s prose poem that inspired Khaled Mouzannar to title the Wine and Music Festival that he is going to launch next week at Smar Jbeil*. However, he exchanged the word poetry for music. Isn’t it the same thing after all? Isn’t music the poetry of life?

Not a concert, but a sharing

This festival, under the leadership of the Lebanese musician and composer with the sponsorship of three vineyards in the region, is certainly an opportunity for him to share music with the public while introducing them to the wine-growing riches of Batroun, a way of promoting the region historically, culturally and economically. “I fell in love with this region that I have lived in for 10 years,” says Khaled Mouzannar. My dream came true the day I was able to manage to live in self-sufficiency,” adds the man who has built both his own studio and an artist’s residence.

The citadel of Smar Jbeil will house the first edition “Of wine and music”. Photo DR

For this great wine lover, music is more “a process than an end” because according to him, “to eat and have a drink is to have a moment of life together”. And these are the moments he would like to share with as many people as possible. “So they inhabit us with our artistic projects by making music and cinema with my wife (director Nadine Labaki). “It is a return to nature, to the mountains which is a solution to all dramas, he believes. “The mountain has always been the ultimate refuge. “And to specify:” Not only a refuge of dwelling, but of work, since we produce and we also live products of the ground. When we give love to the latter, it makes us multiply it. Moreover, wine and music are the antithesis of the enemies of this Lebanon that we love and would like to bring back to life. I therefore chose to stay here because we are aware, Nadine and I, of not wanting to leave the country but also of being able to work from the mountains of Lebanon so that this work spreads internationally. For its first edition, “De vin et de musique” will give local wine producers the opportunity to promote their nectar through a “welcome wine” at sunset at 7 p.m. and a tasting of Batroun wines, accompanied by a cocktail reception after the concert. Taking place at the citadel of Smar Jbeil, this festival emphasizes the heritage value of the place and its location offers a panoramic and beautiful view from Jbeil to Tripoli.

Built by the Phoenicians, this citadel was, let us recall, during the Middle Ages, the place of asylum for many oppressed Christians. This is also where the first Maronite patriarch Saint Jean Maron had found refuge before going to Kfarhay.

The festival invites the famous international bandoneist Mario Stefano Pietrodarchi – whom Khaled Mouzannar met at the al-Bustan Festival – and his string quintet to give two concerts on July 30 and 31 under the direction and with the participation of the Lebanese composer whose music feeds on its plural identity. “When I invite these great musicians to come and play with me, their music enriches mine. So it’s not just a concert but an exchange,” he says. “I want to show young people who go very far in search of happiness that they can find it here in Lebanon. Despite the economic collapse, the mountain still gives us simple pleasures within easy reach. “Happiness is near, not far,” says one of my compositions. I wouldn’t trade this rural life for anything in the world. This festival will bear witness to this,” concludes Khaled Mouzannar with conviction.

*Tickets on sale at https://

www.ticketingboxoffice.com

On the program for the two evenings

Under the title “Cine e tango”, the program for the two evenings of July 30 and 31, from 7 p.m., includes musical compositions by the immense Ennio Morricone, Nino Rotta (also a composer of film music), as well as than Astro Piazolla and Khaled Mouzannar.

Three compositions by Ennio Morricone:

– Cinema Paradiso, by Giuseppe Tornatore

– The Mission, by Roland Joffe

– Once upon a Time in the West, by Sergio Leone.

Three musical themes by Nino Rota:

– La Dolce Vita, by Federico Fellini.

– Amarcord, by Fellini.

– 8 ½, by Fellini.

From A. Piazolla: Adios Nonino;

soledad; Safe ; Jorge Adios and Libertango.

And also musical titles by Khaled Mouzannar.

“It’s time to get drunk so as not to be the martyred slave of time, get drunk constantly. Wine of poetry or virtue as you wish. These are the two lines of Baudelaire’s prose poem that inspired Khaled Mouzannar to title the Wine and Music Festival that he is going to launch next week at Smar Jbeil*. However, he exchanged the word poetry…

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